Vaught's Views: KHSAA needs to use logic

October 05, 2004|LARRY VAUGHT

Later this month, Danville will appeal the Kentucky High School Athletic Association's decision that the school must forfeit football wins over Garrard County and Lincoln County earlier this year because it used an ineligible player.

Danville will base its appeal on logic. The player had transferred to Danville from Lincoln midway of his freshman year when his family moved to Danville.

When he came out for the football team in May, he filled out an eligibility form provided by the KHSAA. He filled the form out correctly, too. The problem is that the form does not ask if a player transferred during the school year and has no place to indicate he or she played a varsity sport at the previous school.

But if you think logic interferes with thinking at the KHSAA, think again.

The KHSAA denied the eligibility requests of three Henry Clay athletes who left Bryan Station under the No Child Left Behind Act, a federal law allowing transfers from schools that fail to meet criteria in reading and math two years in a row.


The three wanted to play baseball for Henry Clay this year, but the KHSAA requires a student to sit out one full year when transferring without a bonafide change of residence into the new school district if he or she has played a varsity sport before transferring.

This means a student transferring to better himself or herself academically, as allowed by federal law, is going to be denied a chance to play athletics by the KHSAA.

What kind of message does that send from the KHSAA about academics? A student in a school in decline can stay put, suffer academically and keep playing sports or the student can transfer to a better academic school and give up athletics for a year. That's ludicrous to make any student make that choice.

Isn't high school athletics part of the educational system? Shouldn't athletics and academics go together?

If you think logic is missing here, consider the state high school golf tournament dress code this week. Apparently some teams have worn mock turtle-neck shirts - the same kind that Tiger Woods often does - this season. But those are a big no-no at the state tournament.

Only shirts with collars will be allowed when the boys tournament is played at Bowling Green.

Why? What difference does it make what kind of shirt a player wears? If the PGA lets a player wear a turtle-neck golf shirt, whey can't a high school golfer in Kentucky do the same?

Again, logic is missing from the equation - just as I fear it will be when Danville appeals the forfeit ruling. That's why I hope the Admirals take their case to court if the KHSAA Board of Control rules against them after an independent hearing officer rules on the appeal.

High school athletics are for the high school students and those making, and enforcing, the rules should remember that and at least let logic and common sense have a place in the decision-making process.

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